Sunday 24 March, 2019

Roget: Boycott businesses owned by the "one percent"

In this June 27, 2017 photo, Ian Smart holds up placards calling for a boycott of Rituals outside of the Maraval Road branch of the business.

In this June 27, 2017 photo, Ian Smart holds up placards calling for a boycott of Rituals outside of the Maraval Road branch of the business.

Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) Leader Ancel Roget has called on the public to boycott a number of businesses owned by the Syrian-Lebanese community.

Speaking following a march through Port of Spain on Friday, Roget said it was time that the public realise the power they have and choose to not support the "one percent".

He was referring to comments made by businessman Mario Sabga-Aboud on a recent episode of CNN's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown which featured Trinidad and Tobago.

During the episode, Sabga-Aboud said the Syrian-Lebanese community represented one per cent of the population but is the "most powerful" group in Trinidad and Tobago.

The businessman was forced to apologise for the comments after much public criticism.

Roget however reminded the public that they are the ones with the power as they are the ones who patronise these businesses and put money in the pockets of the one per cent.

"They are the most powerful because the workers like you and I. Without the workers they would not be able to declare all of the profits that they are declaring. Without all of the exploitation of workers working in unsafe and inhumane conditions, they would not have been able to declare those profits. Without workers they would not be able to be boasting that they are the most powerful in society today."

Roget said the public must take a stand and refuse to support these businesses.

But Roget noted that many persons are unaware of the businesses owned by the so-called one per cent and said JTUM would be holding a meeting to compile a list of 120 businesses that should be boycotted.

The list will be distributed to workers, he said.

The JTUM leader also called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to immediately remove four Minister who he said were not satisfactorily performing their duties.

Minister of Tourism Shamfa Cudjoe, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan and Minister of Finance Colm Imbert have failed to meet their portfolios, he said.

Roget called for a meeting with Rowley to address the concerns of the trade union movement.

He said if the PM does not meet with JTUM within the next two weeks, the unions will be increasing mobilisation efforts across the country.

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